Away with the fairies

Posted by Graeme Lyons , Sunday, 3 July 2011 16:47

 OK, this might come as a surprise. It's time to scale back the listing and blogging. I feel that I could get to 4000 by the end of the year but the effort that this will take and and the strain this is likely to have on my social life are not worth it! I am also feeling that I may reach what I call 'natural history burn-out' sooner than usual this year because of the intensity of recording. So, and it's quite hard for me to say this, the challenge to 4000 is off! I have proved to myself that I could do it, I just don't want to lose my girlfriend and my sanity in the process! Also, 4000 was an arbitrary figure I grabbed out the air last winter, I will get there soon, just probably not this year. I will continue with the blog and the listing but I will be scaling it back to one or two posts a week and it's going to involve less of me going out looking for specific species and more of what I stumble across at work.
Saying that, I did go out earlier today with Michael and Clare Blencowe looking for Purple Emperors at an undisclosed site using a less than orthodox means. I had to leave early but I did get to see one high up in a tree. A first for me, I had always said I would like to bump into this species but after three years of living in Sussex, that had not happened. Whilst waiting for the butterfly I spotted this Four-banded Longhorn Beetle Leptura quadrifsciata. I used to see this a lot in Staffordshire but I don't see it in Sussex so much. 
Michael then spotted this longhorn feeding on Hogweed. I new it was one I hadn't seen before. It is the Fairy-ring Longhorn Beetle Pseudovadonia livida. It's one of the few species that is not saproxylic, rather it's associated with fungi in the soil.
Clare also spotted this shield bug which was also new to me and one I have been looking out for this summer. It's Woundwort Shieldbug Eysarcoris fabricii. Not at all scarce but a smart little beast with an unusual colour combination. So, three new species and perhaps the last for a while. I end the day on 3528.
I hope people don't feel like I have let them down with my decision to abandon my challenge at this stage. I will aim to keep the blog as lively and up to date as possible, there just won't be quite as much stuff in it!

9 Response to "Away with the fairies"

Mark Telfer Says:

Well Graeme, you've definitely shown that you could've reached 4,000 and I've really enjoyed following your blog, though not without some envy! So thanks for that.

I know what you mean about natural history burn-out. It's all too easy to overdo it so that you don't really enjoy it and can't even remember what you've seen!

Don't burn out - but keep smouldering.

Mark

Graeme Lyons Says:

Thanks Mark, a great comment!

Martin Harvey (kitenet) Says:

I'll miss your words and photos Graeme but sounds like a good decision on the numbers game - as you say there's no particular reason to go for them all in one year unless you want to! And the 500 or so in half a year is still very impressive. Wildlife recording has to be at least partly about enjoyment or there's not much point in doing it.

Used to have Woundwort Shieldbug in my garden but haven't been able to find it for a few years.

Lyn Nesbitt-Smith Says:

I too shall miss your pictures and words, but you're right no need to complete the challenge in such a short time - better to savour the discoveries perhaps.

Joanne Hedger Says:

Personally I was struggling to find the time to read them all and hated to miss any of them so you have done me a favour - thank you very much :-)

Steve Gale Says:

Smart move Graeme, if only to allow me to be not as far behind you at the end of the year as I would have!

Richard Cobden Says:

Good to hear you will still keep blogging in some way, your level of output & quailty has been pretty awesome!

I for one have learnt alot about stuff I didn't even know was out there!

Lucy Says:

You set your own challenges - you set your own new rules! That's the point of being in control . . . of having a blog.

I wonder though, now the pressure is a little bit off, if you could do something to stop the lines in the comments merging so it would be easier to read them?

Expect your girlfriend is impressed by your flexibility as well as your knowledge and commitment.

Lucy

Graeme Lyons Says:

Thanks for all the comments guys. Please remember the blog is still very much alive. It might take me a while to slow down though. I'm just not going to be chasing quite as many ticks from now on. Maybe.

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